Herpetology Department



Principal Museum Scientist and Head of Department

Micheal Bates is a National Museum Staff Member in the Herpetology department

Michael F. Bates PhD    herp [at] nasmus [dot] co [dot] za

Mike started working at the Museum in 1983 as a Research Assistant. He was awarded a National Diploma in Nature Conservation from Pretoria Technikon in 1984.  He obtained an MSc in Environmental Biology with a thesis entitled "The herpetofauna of the Orange Free State - with special emphasis on biogeographical patterning" (1993, University of Natal, Durban) and a PhD in Zoology with a thesis titled “An analysis of the Pseudocordylus melanotus (A. Smith) complex (Sauria: Cordylidae)” (2007, University of Stellenbosch). Both the latter were completed while at the National Museum.

See Research and Publications for further detail.

Museum Scientist

Buyisile Makhubo MSc buyi [dot] makhubo [at] nasmus [dot] co [dot] za

Buyi completed a B.Sc. Hons. (Zoology) degree at University of the Free State (Qwaqwa Campus) in 2009 where she worked on a project focusing on the molecular systematics of the Cape crag lizards (Pseudocordylus microlepidotus). During 2010/11 she worked as an intern (Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation Programme) in the Molecular Systematics Laboratory at the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). In 2013 she obtained an M.Sc. degree in Zoology at University of Stellenbosch with a thesis entitled "Phylogenetic and morphological analysis of the Afroedura nivaria (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) species complex in South Africa". She was appointed as a Museum Scientist in April 2013. Her duties include conducting systematics research on reptiles and amphibians using both molecular and morphological techniques, curation of reptile and amphibian collections, and contributing towards public awareness and conservation of reptiles and amphibians. She has a special interest in geckos!

Research Assistant

Agnes Phindana is a National Museum Staff Member in the Herpetology department

Agnes Phindane BSc    agnes [dot] phindane [at] nasmus [dot] co [dot] za

Agnes obtained her BSc in Microbiology and Biochemistry at the University of the Free State. She was appointed as a Research Assistant in the Department of Herpetology in November 2008, after working for a year as an intern, funded by the national Department of Arts and Culture. Her duties include keeping the various databases (e.g. specimen collection, photographic image collection, literature reprint collection etc.) up to date as well as all aspects of curation.

Museum Assistant

Edgar Mohapi is a National Museum Staff Member in the Herpetology department

Edgar Mohapi

Edgar joined the Department of Herpetology in 1994. His duties are mainly curatorial, as well as the maintenance and feeding of the Museum's live displays. He is a keen field worker and an expert reptile and amphibian collector.